Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability responds to Auditor’s recommendations for PCEF program

Press Release
Staff agrees with audit recommendations, details next steps for improvement implementation.

Portland, ORE. — The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) has released a response to the City Auditor’s recommendations for the Portland Clean Energy Fund program. View the response letter (in English and also Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese):

Signed by Commissioner Carmen Rubio, BPS Director Andrea Durbin, PCEF Program Manager Sam Baraso, and PCEF Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Megan Horst and Michael Edden Hill, the response details plans for BPS staff managing the PCEF program to work with the PCEF Committee on measures to 

  • Define performance metrics 
  • Develop recommendations to Council for clearer strategic direction on climate goals relevant to PCEF
  • Begin a conversation with the PCEF Committee and Commissioner Rubio to outline options for City Council consideration that would improve transparency and provide greater budgeting consistency 
  • Continue to assess the Committee’s governance structure 

The response letter provides detailed information on each of these measures and thanks the City Auditor’s office for their important work. 

“We thank you for the opportunity to respond to your recent audit, … for the tremendous work put into this audit by your team, and for your dialogue with us throughout the evaluation process,” the letter stated. “As PCEF is a first-of-its-kind program in the nation, your recommendations are critical in supporting our efforts to meet the voter intent: To reduce carbon emissions while advancing racial and social justice.” 

The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) was created after a voter-led initiative was passed by 65% of Portland voters in Nov. 2018. It provides a consistent, long-term funding source and oversight structure to ensure that our community’s climate action efforts are implemented to support social, economic, and environmental benefits for all Portlanders, especially for communities of color and low-income residents. The initiative was supported by a broad coalition of groups and individuals and represents the first environmental initiative in Oregon led by communities of color.

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Magan Reed

Communications Manager, Planning and Sustainability